Looking beyond the ISS, Thales Alenia Space is gearing up for lunar missions, in particular with the LOP-G (Lunar Orbital Platform Gateway), and is carrying out design studies for NASA (as part of STEP 2) and ESA. Following the success of the IXV atmospheric reentry demonstrator, Thales Alenia Space is now developing Space Rider, Europe’s new-generation, low-orbit, reusable space transport system.
Thales Alenia Space is offering a brand new in-orbit servicing solution, dubbed Space START. These space vehicles will be able to carry out a wide range of operations in orbit, including controlled reentry of space debris, robotic manipulation, extending a satellite's service life, in-orbit refueling, inspection, etc.
These vehicles will mark a real paradigm shift from a “stationary” to a “dynamic” space environment. If we ever start building lunar bases, in-orbit servicing could prove invaluable, especially for transporting the various components to be assembled. And Thales Alenia Space is naturally at the cutting edge of this trend.